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Ulver: Childhood’s End

The eclectic Norwegian metallers have got it covered...

Yet another covers album?! It’s enough to make you wonder where all the originality has gone, eh? Wrong! Because this is a truly astounding piece of work. The Norwegians have been painstakingly building up a bundle of covers over the past four years, and now it’s all here on a collection that’s remarkable on all levels. Not only does it celebrate a lot of the 60s psychedelic bands who’ve inspired Ulver, but also adds an extra, authentic dimension to every song here.

Some of the group’s choices will be comparatively obvious. The likes of The Byrds, the Electric Prunes, Chocolate Watch Band and the 13th Floor Elevators are sufficiently well known to almost be taken for granted. But the real gems lie elsewhere in the mix.

To hear the band take on tracks from Curt Boettcher, Common People and Music Emporium is joyous. These are fairly obscure acts unless you are a psychedelic aficionado. But the quality of the homage paid to these artists here is so compelling and cleverly arranged that it might hopefully persuade a few to check out the originals.

For Ulver this is clearly a labour of love. For the rest of us it’s a beautifully crafted tribute.